WATCH: The FBI pointed a finger directly at North Korea for the massive hack into the computer network at Sony Pictures. President Barack Obama said he’s looking at a range of option to respond to the cyber-attack. Jackson Proskow reports.
TORONTO – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that Sony Pictures should have released the movie The Interview, calling the decision to cancel the release of the film “a mistake.”
On Friday, the FBI formally accused North Korea of hacking Sony Pictures, saying it has enough evidence to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for the widespread cyber-attack against the film studio that made the movie The Interview.
Obama said he doesn’t want to see a society in which “some dictator some place can start imposing censorship in the United States.”
The president vowed that the U.S. would respond to North Korea “in a place and manner and time that we choose.”
WATCH: Obama says U.S. will respond to cyber-attack from North Korea
The FBI found multiple links between the attack on Sony and previous cyber-attacks linked back to North Korea.
“Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks,” read the statement.
“The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. Government has previously linked directly to North Korea.”
Until Wednesday, the Obama administration had been saying it was not immediately clear who might have been responsible for the computer break-in. North Korea has publicly denied it was involved. The FBI announcement Friday is the first official statement blaming the isolated country for the cyber-attack.
WATCH: Tech reporter Nicole Bogart discusses the FBI’s findings
The unidentified hackers had demanded that Sony cancel its upcoming release of the movie The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, that included a gruesome scene depicting the assassination of North Korea’s leader. Sony on Wednesday cancelled the Dec. 25 release, citing the threats of violence against movie theatres, and the movie studio later said there were no further plans to release the film.
According to a report by CNN, the hackers sent a message to Sony Pictures Thursday evening saying the decision to pull The Interview from theatres was “very wise.” The message also reportedly told the studio that their information would be safe if the movie was never released.
“Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” CNN reported the email message said.
WATCH: Obama says Sony should have released The Interview and not have fallen under the thumb of intimidation from hackers.
With files from the Associated Press